Assessing Fire-Damage in Historical Papers and Alleviating Damage with Soft Cellulose Nanofibers

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A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
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Small, Volume 18, issue 13
The conservation of historical paper objects with high cultural value is an important societal task. Papers that have been severely damaged by fire, heat, and extinguishing water, are a particularly challenging case, because of the complexity and severity of damage patterns. In-depth analysis of fire-damaged papers, by means of examples from the catastrophic fire in a 17th-century German library, shows the changes, which proceeded from the margin to the center, to go beyond surface charring and formation of hydrophobic carbon-rich layers. The charred paper exhibits structural changes in the nano- and micro-range, with increased porosity and water sorption. In less charred areas, cellulose is affected by both chain cleavage and cross-linking. Based on these results and conclusions with regard to adhesion of auxiliaries, a stabilization method is developed, which coats the damaged paper with a thin layer of cellulose nanofibers. It enables the reliable preservation of the paper and—most importantly—retrieval ofthe contained historical information: the nanofibers form a flexible, transparent film on the surface and adhere strongly to the damaged matrix, greatly reducing its fragility, giving it stability, and enabling digitization and further handling.
Funding Information: The authors thank Prof. Dr. Banik for helpful discussions. Dr. Bacher and Dr. Schiehser are acknowledged for practical support (NMR and GPC). Special thanks to P. Reindl for the AFM measurements. L.V. would like to thank Klassik Stiftung Weimar and the doctoral school ABC&M for financial support. The financial support of the Austrian Biorefinery Center Tulln (ABCT), the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs, and the National Foundation for Research Technology and Development is gratefully acknowledged. The authors are grateful to Borregaard (Norway) and SAPPI (Belgium) for donating CNF. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Authors. Small published by Wiley-VCH GmbH
art conservation, chemical analysis, heat-damaged cellulose, mechanical stabilization, nanocellulose coating, surface structure
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Völkel , L , Beaumont , M , Johansson , L-S , Czibula , C , Rusakov , D , Mautner , A , Teichert , C , Kontturi , E , Rosenau , T & Potthast , A 2022 , ' Assessing Fire-Damage in Historical Papers and Alleviating Damage with Soft Cellulose Nanofibers ' , Small , vol. 18 , no. 13 , 2105420 .